Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Prize Anglo Shorts

The Ebony Tower is an excellent collection of five short stories from the masterful pen of John Fowles. With ambiguous little tales featuring retired artists, missing mp's, criminals and strained families Fowles' playful style has ample, fertile ground to explore but as you might expect he still finds plenty of time for his usual ruminations about art, life and philosophy and of course the pages reek with the heady scent of desires, satisfied or otherwise. If you've never read any Fowles I'd say this is definitely the place to start as it most of the themes and symbolism evident here are explored deeper, more intensely in his more famous works like The Collector or The French Lieutenant's Woman.

I've never read any Daphne du Maurier before but I'm already looking for more after thoroughly enjoying Don't Look Now and Other Stories, another quintet of short stories. In comparison to Fowles this collection has a decidedly darker, almost sinister atmosphere spread thick over the assorted tales of psychics, mysterious Greek artifacts, pilgrims and deranged scientists and though they may be a little dated there's a marvellous tension within most of the characters with unexpressed emotions, longings and churning undercurrents all bubbling to the surface. It's no wonder Hitchcock was attracted to her work, adapting 3 of her works, but it's quite surprising there hasn't been more recent efforts to bring her work to the screen.

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